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Ear Plugs.
#1
Any of you guys use ear plugs, if so which ones,
I have just been looking on The British Tinnitus web site and they sell Musicians ear plugs ER20,
the reviews are mostly good or do you know of anything better ?
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#2
Hi Fay......

No we dont use them....Our audience seem to though Wink

As some of us have in-ear monitors it would make life difficult but many thanks for thinking of us hunny Smile
xx
Best wishes

Cool

John
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#3
Hi John ~~~

I was looking at getting some for myself,
as a long term Tinnitus suffer (10 years +) who is fed up of sticking cotton wool in my ears and listening to muffled music the er20 looks a good option,
so I was just wondering if anybody had tried them or any other ear plugs,
reading the reviews they lower the volume but keep the clarity and I must admit that I do worry about doing any more damage,
some days now I feel like I'm going around the twist with the constant noise,I could get on my soap box and start preaching but I wont ..yet..lol
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#4
(18-06-2012, 07:47 PM)Fay Owen Wrote: Hi John ~~~

I was looking at getting some for myself, as a long term Tinnitus suffer (10 years +) who is fed up of sticking cotton wool in my ears and listening to muffled music the er20 looks a good option, so I was just wondering if anybody had tried them or any other ear plugs?, reading the reviews they lower the volume but keep the clarity and I must admit that I do worry about doing any more damage, some days now I feel like I'm going around the twist with the constant noise,I could get on my soap box and start preaching but I wont ..yet..lol


i Fay, I feel uniquely qualified to talk about ear plugs, Mama, live music in general and Tinnitus. Why you ask? Well, you're probably already aware that I'm the sound engineer with Mama and you may even be aware that I'm also a drummer. But, I've had a 50 percent hearing loss in both ears [supposedly] from birth. What's more, I've suffered from Tinnitus all my life. Ironic I should end up being a pro sound engineer, but they wouldn't let me pilot passenger airlines unfortunately.

As you can imagine, I take ear protection very seriously. I cannot afford to damage my ears anymore. I firmly believe that our generation (the walkman generation if you like) will be deaf beyond belief when they get their bus passes.

Here's some facts about hearing:

- The human ear deteriorates naturally with age. Everyone knows this. What they do not know is how much the deterioration is. It's very substantial! You can see graphs here:

http://www.audiometrictesting.co.uk/hear...resbycusis

These graphs don't looks terribly scary but that's because they use the Decibel scale. The Decibel scale is used because it's logarithmic and mimicks the logarithmic response of human hearing. Sorry for getting technical here! :-)

Logarithmic means that the scale is actually exponential. When you look at the graphs, you could be forgiven for thinking that half of 100dB is 50dB and half of 50dB is 25dB. Not true. In actual fact, half of 100dB is 94dB. Half of 94dB is 88dB. Half of 88dB is 82dB. In other words, everytime you lose 6dB of hearing, you're losing HALF of your ability to hear! Suddenly, the graphs take on a new meaning.

- The human ear at birth, hears frequences from very low (20Hz) through to the very high pitched sounds (20,000Hz). The older one gets, the high frequencies naturally drop off. By the time you're 70, you'll be lucky if you can hear anything above about 6,000Hz. What does this mean realistically? When JW is doing his Phil Collins thing on stage and he sings his esses (SSSssssss), that can hit highs of 8,000Hz. A 70 year old with 'normal' hearing cannot hear those esses! Scary huh?

- The human ear has different sensitivites at different frequencies. It is most sensitive between 2,000Hz and 5,000Hz which is roughly where the sibilance in speech is rendered. This makes sense because humans need their ears mainly to communicate with other humans, using speech.

Why is this important? Well, the 'walkman generation' I referred to earlier, are a high risk group for later hearing loss because personal stereo headphones rely on the Loudness Principle to work effectively.

The Loudness Principle basically states that the closer your ear is to a source of sound, the more bass you will perceive. You put your earphones on and you hear a nice rich sound but that's not what the walkman / personal stereo / iPhone / iPad / MP3 player is pumping out! It simply sounds like that because it's right next to your ear. That's the Loudness Principle in action.

Do this experiment; Take your headphones off and move them away from you. Then turn up the volume really loud and listen to the headphones from a meter away. Sounds different? That's what you're putting in your ears! Funnily enough, it's around about 2,000Hz to 5,000Hz - the afore mentioned sensitive area of human hearing. Everyone who uses headphones of any kind, is killing their hearing FAST!

As I mentioned, I already have a significant hearing loss and my ears have got worse over the years. A doctor once told me (about five years ago) that my ears are that bad, the only reason I can speak properly is because I learned to talk as a child when my hearing was better (but still damaged). If I tried to learn to talk now, I would sound completely different. That's why I have to protect my hearing.

When I play drums, I use ear plugs that have a high ability to reject sound because drums are very loud and right in my face. I use the rollup kind that you roll between finger and thumb and then they expand in your ear. I pull them out slightly to adjust to taste. They're cheap, reliable and you can buy them on the highstreet - Boots for example.

So what should we do at live concerts to protect our hearing? Well, start by moving away from the speakers. Each doubling of distance halves the sound pressure level you experience (logarithmic scales again). Wear ear plugs like you mentioned. But first and foremost, don't be afraid of telling the sound engineer that it's simply too loud. Modern technology is a wonderful thing and it allows bands to attain stupid volumes even with good quality. That doesn't mean it has to be stupidly loud. Every band / artist / sound engineer is guilty of revelling in ultra loud music and I'm no different. If you ask me, I'll turn it down if it's too loud. :-)

Why I decided to waffle this much about human hearing on a Genesis tribute band forum? I've no idea. But I hope you are wiser because of it. :-)
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#5
Andrew (((( hugs )))) somebody who understands :~)
I have some hearing loss but not to the same extent of your,I don't have "The Pope trying to steal my pizza" and if you ever get the job and you need a co-pilot you know where i am, I can already hear the engines ;~)

anyway thanks for the reply , really interesting reading and after a couple of read thoughts i understood it ...Yeh,
you have explained it very well and it made so much sense to me,
luckily I have never been one for listen to anything through earphones but it shows how easy it is to cause damage.

I must admit lately I have become really aware of noise levels,
the gigs we go to are far and few between these days unlike in the past when it was every weekend and a couple of nights in the week,(no surprise what started the tinnitus) and you will find me standing at the back of the room usually with cotton wool sticking out of my ears ..lol
but even the noise level in the local pub at weekend when they have an artiste on (well that's debatable), the windows are vibrating and the volume in a small room can be unbearable,I'm being totally selfish here but i wish their was a max volume level for small areas,I know I could stop in but......so hence the need to get ear plugs.
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#6
(25-06-2012, 08:56 PM)Fay Owen Wrote: Andrew (((( hugs )))) somebody who understands :~)

Yeah, it's a bugger of a condition to have. In actual fact, my Tinnitus clashes at the same frequencies as some of the tones they use in a standard hearing test (3KHz and above) so I'm even worse at hearing tests than I should be! :-(

Quote:I have some hearing loss but not to the same extent of your,I don't have "The Pope trying to steal my pizza" and if you ever get the job and you need a co-pilot you know where i am, I can already hear the engines ;~)

If the Pope stole MY pizza, he wouldn't live long! I'm sure the guys in the band will testify how protective of my pizza I am!

Quote:luckily I have never been one for listen to anything through earphones but it shows how easy it is to cause damage.

Ironically, I was listening to my iPod when I wrote that post. Doh!

There are two types of hearing loss, at the most basic level. One is called 'temporary threshold shift' and the other is called 'permanent threshold shift'. Think of the sensor in the human ear (the cochlear) as a tube of liquid, divided in half down its length by a very thin membrane. I'll try and find a picture because that would be easier (click it to make it bigger):


.gif   cochlear.gif (Size: 8.85 KB / Downloads: 5)

The membrane that runs all the way through the middle has hairs all over it which are connected to nerves. The sound comes in from the ear drum on the left. It runs down the membrane vibrating the hairs which stimulate the nerves and send signals to the brain. The hairs on the left pick up the high frequencies and as you move further right, the hairs pick up lower and lower frequencies.

When you subject the cochlear to high sound pressure levels, those first hairs get blasted flat much like a tornado hitting a forest. When that happens, you lose the ability to hear the high frequency component of the sound. Ever been to a loud gig and when you come out, everything sounds dull and boring? That's exactly what has happened. This is called 'temporary threshold shift' because it's temporary - most of those hairs will eventually stand back up again and your hearing returns. Some of those hairs that are 'blown down' will send false signals to the brain - that's the ringing in your ears after a loud gig. It's a sure sign you're damaging your hearing.

Everytime you do this to your ears though, some of those hairs actually break and never return. That's 'permanent threshold shift' which is a posh way of saying you've gone a little bit more deaf. It's very, very bad! There is no cure.

Remember in my previous post where I mentioned 'the loudness principle'? That's an audio phenomenon where the closer your ear is to the source, the deeper (more bass) the sound is perceived. I said that walkman earphones typically use this principle to create a fuller sound but in actual fact all you're doing is shoving high frequency sound at high sound pressure level into your ear.... Now you know what TTS and PTS are, you can see how dangerous earphones are - especially the ones that go right in your ear!

Hope I've not scared everyone! :-)

Quote:I'm being totally selfish here but i wish their was a max volume level for small areas,

In actual fact, there are many laws and regulations about sound. The problem is, people mostly only apply them the the work environment, assuming falsely that they don't apply to the play environment. If you took an accurate sound pressure level meter into most live music venues, nightclubs and pubs, you'd probably find that they're way over the recommended SPL for that type of environment and legally, they're required to protect your ears, but only if you work there. If you went one step further and reported them to the Environmental Agency, they could be shut down.

Every venue has people working there and they're entitled to the same protection as the guy who works in the factory with loud machines or the woman that directs the aircraft at the airport. The trouble is, people aren't aware of these things and they treat it like drinking - there is a recommended alcohol allowance, but people who go out drinking don't stick to two pints on a Saturday night, even though they know they're harming themselves however slightly. Fact is, alcohol is a poison.

You can find out more about the 'noise in the workplace' thing from the HSE website which is run by the government:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/musicsound.htm


Incidently, if you have an iPhone, you can download several different SPL Meter apps.

Always useful to have if you want to check the Sound Pressure Level in a venue just for curiosity. :-)
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#7
I can vouch if the fact that if the Pope stole Andrews pizza there would be Mafia contract on him within minutes
Best wishes

Cool

John
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#8
(28-06-2012, 01:20 PM)John Wilkinson Wrote: I can vouch if the fact that if the Pope stole Andrews pizza there would be Mafia contract on him within minutes

You know! Smile
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